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Amazon is using AI to summarize customer product reviews

E-commerce giant Amazon is now using artificial intelligence to summarize customer product reviews and highlight product pros and cons, according to reviewers, for shoppers. 

Some products featured on the company's mobile shopping app now include the summaries, which are accompanied by a disclaimer indicating that they were written by AI, based on customer reviews. 

For example, an AI-generated review summary of an air purifier says the product has "received positive feedback from customers in various aspects. Many customers have praised its ability to clear the air and improve air quality, with some even calling it the best air purifying device."

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The summary goes on to indicate that the device is quiet, effective in removing smells, as well as stylish. In the cons column, the summary states that "some customers have expressed mixed opinions on its effectiveness in reducing allergies and asthma." 

The reviews all come with the same disclaimer: "AI-generated from the text of customer reviews." 

New products may benefit

Marketing exec Mark Wieczorek, chief technology officer at Fortress Brand, which helps health-and-wellness brands build their presence on Amazon, said the new feature could help drum up interest in new products that don't yet have a bank of hundreds of consumer reviews. 

"It's long been known that aged products — that have had the time to build up large numbers of reviews — have had an unfair advantage against newer (potentially superior) entrants," he said in a LinkedIn post

He added that AI could help guide customers toward newer products that don't have what he called "review moats."

Amazon did not comment on the new mobile app feature, but indicated that it's actively experimenting with AI. 

"We are significantly investing in generative AI across all of our businesses," an Amazon spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch. 

Amazon and other online retailers have long been plagued by fake reviews written by fraudsters or product manufacturers who want to boost their item's popularity and grab shoppers' attention — and wallets.

Amazon last year sued the administrators of more than 10,000 Facebook groups it said incentivized people to submit fake product reviews. 

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